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St Johns Southgate

18 Sep 2012

Sunday October 7 is a day for all creatures – great and small  - at St John’s Southgate.

Of course, it is St Francis of Assisi Day and children have been invited to bring along a loved pet for a blessing at the 11 am service.

It may be a once-a-year event but at St Johns children are at the centre of things throughout the year, every year.

“Everyone is important at St Johns,” says the congregation’s Pastor, Ian Vainikka, “ but children are especially important. They are our lifeblood.”

The commitment to children’s ministry is being reinforced right now at the city church in the heart of Southbank. And there could not be a better time, as the burgeoning inner-city lifestyle attracts ever more people.

This trend includes the arrival of many more young families, as witnessed by the mounting campaign for an inner-city primary school to service Southbank and Docklands.

With the demographic shift in mind, St Johns has designed a new program of activities, including singing, short plays and prayer readings. They are available for children from 2 to 11 years of age in two groups beginning at 10.30 each Sunday morning.

The environment is warm, friendly and well planned. Parents of very young children are able to be in the room with their children and others are free to observe at any time.

Pastor Vainikka says a key aim is to provide parents with tools to help in their communication with their children.

The children’s ministry meshes with a whole program of activities aimed at the Southbank community, such as a highly successful Tuesday Playgroup and regular meetings for youth, where they get guidance but also space to plan their own things to do.

An energetic team running the children’s ministry program has plans for more events during the year, including at least three dedicated services, such as St Francis Day.

Eleven o’clock on October 7 might be a great starting point for anyone interested in having their children join in or just in taking a look. It is bound to be a lively event with lots of wriggling and squeaking by all the little creatures involved.

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